A Kempner woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling military items from Fort Hood out of the country, a U.S. attorney announced Tuesday.
Janiece Michelle Hough, 41, of Kempner, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport, Conn., to one count of smuggling goods from the United States, Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced in a news release.
The charge stems from Hough’s sale of two advanced combat optical gunsights destined for Germany in violation of the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations, according to the release.
Hough was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, the first eight months of which she must serve in home confinement. She was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and to forfeit $198,054.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Hough worked for a government contractor and was based at Fort Hood. On the side, she operated an online business selling surplus military clothing and equipment on eBay.
While working at Fort Hood, Hough purchased military equipment from U.S. Army personnel, including Michael Bartch, for re-sale online. In June 2010, Hough sold and shipped two gunsights to an individual in Connecticut with the understanding that they were destined for Germany.
Hough did not have a license from the U.S. State Department, which is required to export the gunsights and other items on the U.S. Munitions List.
Bartch, of Copperas Cove, was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas. In April 2013, he was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment. He admitted to stealing an estimated $7 million in equipment from Fort Hood.
The case was investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Boston Field Office.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.